Dairy and Food Animal Management

Overviewexpand_more

Studying the business of animal agriculture and the biology and management of farm animals can lead to improvements in our food production systems that will benefit animals, farmers, consumers, and the environment. Students in the Dairy and Food Animal Management major learn these principles while embracing innovation and technology to meet the needs of today’s dairy, livestock, poultry, and meat industries. The Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, home of the undergraduate program in dairy and food animal management, produces skilled leaders who integrate management challenges associated with animal health and welfare, land and water stewardship, precision livestock farming, food safety, and sustainable global agriculture.

A 10:1 student-faculty ratio and small classes allow for meaningful connections. Out-of-classroom learning opportunities, such as internships on farms or with agribusiness, and management experiences associated with meat processing give students the training they need for successful 21st-century careers. Students can also gain valuable experience working in research labs, department dairy and livestock operations, as well as the meat processing and retail facilities.

Students majoring in Dairy and Food Animal Management are working toward a variety of careers that require a strong background in agribusiness, animal biology, farm management, livestock production management, meat industry, technical services and consulting, research, and outreach.

Learn through hands-on, real-world experiences

UW-Madison has farm animals on campus. Animal facilities are located near classrooms giving students easy access to livestock and poultry during lab sessions. Animal agriculture is not just about managing animals-it is about business economics and global food systems. Out-of-the classroom experiences are the norm for Dairy and Food Animal Management students, with 100 percent of students completing an internship or field experience.

Hands-on courses include reproduction, animal nutrition and genetics, dairy herd management, lactation physiology, meat science, and processing. Students solve problems through field trips, involvement on farms, and processing facilities.

Build community and networks

Madison is an ideal location for the study of dairy and food animal management. It is a vibrant city-home to many large agribusinesses-located close to dairy & livestock farms and meat markets. Students volunteer in a variety of activities when involved with clubs and organizations; making connections and networking with industry partners via events such as World Dairy Expo directed by the Badger Dairy Club and the Lamb Show directed by the Saddle & Sirloin Club.

Customize a path of study

Dairy and Food Animal Management students can customize their coursework to fit their career goals with a large variety of animal classes in combination with courses taught by Agricultural & Applied Economics. The major can by combined with other majors such as Life Sciences Communication and Agronomy or certificates such as computer sciences, food systems, environmental studies, and global health.

Make a strong start

Students can take an introductory seminar course that helps them develop an individualized four-year course plan, learn about internships and job opportunities, and discuss leadership development opportunities.

Gain global perspective

Dairy and Food Animal Management majors are encouraged to go on study abroad programs, where they can immerse themselves in international animal production coursework, research, or field experiences. Many students have completed a semester abroad in The Netherlands. Additional CALS Study Abroad collaborations include Dublin, Ireland, Greece, and New Zealand undergraduate programs. Students work with their advisor and the CALS study abroad office to identify appropriate programs.

How to Get Inexpand_more

To declare this major, students must be admitted to UW-Madison and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). For information about becoming a CALS first-year or transfer student, see Entering the College.

Students who attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences have the option to declare this major at SOAR.

Students may otherwise declare after they have begun their undergraduate studies by meeting with the program advisor, Liv Sandberg.

Requirementsexpand_more

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning and continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education

  • Breadth-Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth-Natural Science: 4-6 credits, consisting of one 4 or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth-Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Requirements

In addition to the University General Education Requirements, all undergraduate students in CALS must satisfy a set of college and major requirements. Courses may not double count within university requirements (General Education and Breadth) or within college requirements (First-Year Seminar, International Studies, Science, and Capstone), but courses counted toward university requirements may also be used to satisfy a college and/or a major requirement; similarly, courses counted toward college requirements may also be used to satisfy a university and/or a major requirement.

Quality of Work: Students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.000 to remain in good standing and be eligible for graduation.

Residency: Students must complete 30 degree credits in residence at UW-Madison after earning 86 credits toward their undergraduate degree.

First Year Seminar: 1 credit
International Studies: 3 credits
Physical Science Fundamentals: 4-5 credits
Choose from CHEM 103: General Chemistry I
or CHEM 108: Chemistry in Our World
or CHEM 109: Advanced General Chemistry
Biological Science: 5 credits
Additional Science (Biological, Physical, or Natural): 3 credits
Science Breadth (Biological, Physical , Natural, or Social): 3 credits
CALS Capstone Learning Experience: included in the requirements of each CALS major (see “Major Requirements”).

Summary of Major Requirements

Foundation: 19-25 credits
Major Core: 8 credits
Major Depth and Breadth: 36 credits
Internship: 1 credit
Major Capstone: 2-3 credits
Total Credits: 66-73 credits

Dairy and Food Animal Management Requirements

Foundation
Mathematics
Complete one of the following (or may be satisfied by placement exam): 3-5 credits
MATH 112: Algebra
MATH 114: Algebra and Trigonometry

Statistics: 3 credits
STAT 301: Introduction to Statistical Methods
or STAT 371: Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences

Chemistry
Complete one of the following: 5-9 credits
CHEM 103 & CHEM 104: General Chemistry I and General Chemistry II
CHEM 109: Advanced General Chemistry

Biology
Complete one of the following: 5 credits

BIOLOGY/BOTANY/ZOOLOGY 151: Introductory Biology
BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 101 & BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 102: Animal Biology and Animal Biology Laboratory

Biochemistry: 3 credits
BIOCHEM 301: Survey of Biochemistry
or BIOCHEM 501: Introduction to Biochemistry

Major Core
AN SCI/DY SCI 101: Introduction to Animal Sciences
AN SCI/DY SCI 102: Introduction to Animal Sciences Laboratory
A A E 101: Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics
or ECON 101: Principles of Microeconomics

Major Depth and Breadth
Animal Science
Complete 12 credits from the following:
AN SCI 245: Animal Welfare
AN SCI/DY SCI/NUTR SCI 311: Comparative Animal Nutrition
AN SCI/DY SCI 320: Animal Health and Disease
AN SCI 336: Animal Growth and Development
AN SCI/DY SCI 361: Introduction to Animal and Veterinary Genetics
AN SCI/DY SCI 363: Principles of Animal Breeding
AN SCI 366: Concepts in Genomics
AN SCI/DY SCI 373: Animal Physiology
AN SCI/DY SCI 414: Ruminant Nutrition & Metabolism
AN SCI 415: Application of Monogastric Nutrition Principles
AN SCI/DY SCI 434: Reproductive Physiology
DY SCI 378: Lactation Physiology

Food and Animal Agriculture
Complete 12 credits from the following:
AN SCI/FOOD SCI 305: Introduction to Meat Science and Technology
AN SCI/FOOD SCI 321: Food Laws and Regulations
AN SCI/BSE 344: Digital Technologies for Animal Monitoring
AN SCI/DY SCI 370: Livestock Production and Health in Agricultural Development
AN SCI 420: Microbiomes of Animal Systems
AN SCI 431: Beef Cattle Production
AN SCI 432: Swine Production
DY SCI/AGRONOMY 471: Food Production Systems and Sustainability
AN SCI/FOOD SCI 515: Commercial Meat Processing
DY SCI 233: Dairy Herd Management I
DY SCI 234: Dairy Herd Management II
DY SCI 534: Reproductive Management of Dairy Cattle
AGRONOMY 302: Forage Management and Utilization
FOOD SCI 301: Introduction to the Science and Technology of Food
SOIL SCI/ENVIR ST/GEOG 230: Soil: Ecosystem and Resource
or SOIL SCI 301: General Soil Science

Business, Economics, and Management
Complete the following two courses:
A A E 320: Agricultural Systems Management
A A E 419: Agricultural Finance

Complete 6 credits from the following:
A A E 322: Commodity Markets
A A E 335: Introduction to Data Analysis using Spreadsheets
A A E/ECON 421: Economic Decision Analysis
A A E 422: Food Systems and Supply Chains
ACCT I S 300: Accounting Principles
GEN BUS 301: Business Law
MARKETING 300: Marketing Management
M H R 300: Managing Organizations
M H R 305: Human Resources Management

Internship
Complete the following course:
AN SCI 399: Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education

Capstone
Complete one of the following:
AN SCI 435: Animal Sciences Proseminar
DY SCI 535: Dairy Farm Management Practicum

Total Credits: 66-73 credits

Learning Outcomesexpand_more

  1. Describe biological principles and their application within dairy and food animal production systems
  2. Explain business, management, and economic principles and their application to dairy and food animal production systems
  3. Apply scientific principles and critical thinking skills to identify and solve real-world problems facing dairy and food animal production enterprises
  4. Demonstrate the scientific, managerial, and communication competencies needed for advanced careers in dairy and food animal management

Four-Year Planexpand_more

This sample four-year plan is a tool to assist students and their advisors. Students should use their DARS Report, the Degree Planner, Guide Requirements, and the Course Search & Enroll tools to make their own four-year plan based on their placement scores, credit for transferred courses and approved examinations, and individual interests.

Sample Dairy and Food Animal Management Four-Year Plans

Dairy Focusexpand_more

Four-Year Planexpand_more

First Year

Fall
AN SCI/DY SCI 101: 3 credits
AN SCI/DY SCI 102: 1 credit
AN SCI 135 (CALS First Year Seminar): 1 credit
MATH 112: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Communications A: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14

Spring
CHEM 103: 4 credits
A A E 101: 4 credits
Elective: 3 credits
Communications B: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14

Second Year

Fall
CHEM 104: 5 credits
STAT 301: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14

Spring
BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 101: 3 credits
BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 102: 2 credits
BIOCHEM 301: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Elective: 2 credits
Total Credits: 16

Third Year

Fall
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management: 3 credits
CALS International Studies: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Elective or Internship: 1-3 credits
Total Credits: 13-15

Spring
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3-4 credits
Electives: 6 credits
Total Credits: 15-16

Fourth Year

Fall
Capstone: 2-3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3 credits
Electives: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14-15

Spring
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3 credits
Electives: 10 credits
Total Credits: 16

Total Credits: 116-120

Food Animal/Meat Focusexpand_more

First Year

Fall
AN SCI/DY SCI 101: 3 credits
AN SCI/DY SCI 102: 1 credit
AN SCI 135 (CALS First Year Seminar): 1 credit
MATH 112: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Communications A: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14

Spring
CHEM 103: 4 credits
A A E 101 (General Education-Social Science): 4 credits
Elective: 3 credits
Communications B: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14

Second Year

Fall
CHEM 104: 5 credits
STAT 301: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14

Spring
BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 101: 3 credits
BIOLOGY/ZOOLOGY 102: 2 credits
BIOCHEM 301: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3 credits
Elective: 2 credits
Total Credits: 16

Third Year

Fall
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management: 3 credits
CALS International Studies: 3 credits
General Education: 3 credits
Elective or Internship: 1-3 credits
Total Credits: 13-15

Spring
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3-4 credits
Electives: 6 credits
Total Credits: 15-16

Fourth Year

Fall
Capstone: 2-3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Animal Science: 3 credits
Electives: 3 credits
Total Credits: 14-15

Spring
Major Depth and Breadth-Business, Economics, and Management: 3 credits
Major Depth and Breadth-Food and Animal Agriculture: 3 credits
Electives: 10 credits
Total Credits: 16

Advising and Careersexpand_more

Advising

Each Dairy and Food Animal Management major receives one-on-one guidance from their academic advisor. Academic advisors will help students build an individualized curriculum four-year plan, explore and identify experiences to meet career goals and deepen their educational program.

Career Opportunities

As students find their career interests, faculty working in those fields serve as career mentors to help students make progress toward their goals.

Undergraduates in Dairy and Food Animal Management prepare for a variety of career opportunities. Animal agriculture career opportunities include animal nutrition and consulting, animal breeding & genetics, herd management, information technology, product development, quality control, food testing and Agriculture business.

Dairy and Food Animal Management graduates are in high demand by employers and receive job offers with competitive salaries.

Wisconsin Experienceexpand_more

Internships

In the Dairy and Food Animal Management program, 100 percent of students complete an internship or field experience. Students will work with their faculty mentor to explore internship opportunities and establish goals.

UW-Madison’s proximity to farms, agribusinesses, and events such as Dairy Expo provide undergraduates with unique internships and valuable hands-on learning. Students can be directly involved with meat processing and sales at Bucky’s Varsity Meats, providing real life experiences.

Internship opportunities from industry collaborators are dispersed to students via department communications.

Research experience

Many students complete a research project under mentorship from a faculty member. Animal and Dairy science faculty are internationally recognized specialists in nutrition, genetics, lactation, reproduction, animal welfare, herd management, and more. Students can take on research projects with faculty members for either course credit or pay, depending on the opportunity.

Student organizations

The Badger Dairy Club is a large, motivated student organization on campus with members from various majors who share a passion for the dairy industry. Highlights of the club’s activities include work at the World Dairy Expo and club trips.

The Saddle & Sirloin Club hosts various livestock shows, such as the Lamb Show.

The Poultry Club and Meat Science Club are active department clubs offering students unique opportunities to be involved with events and networking opportunities within their respective industries.

Students in these organizations volunteer and participate in events such as Wisconsin 4-H competitions, FFA Judging Contests, and club trips. These clubs also offer student opportunities to be in leadership positions and develop soft skills.

There are other opportunities for students to get involved in agriculture-related organizations on campus such as Collegiate FFA, Association of Women in Agriculture, Babcock House, and Alpha Gamma Rho.

Competitive teams

Students can join competitive teams that take part in Intercollegiate Dairy Judging, the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, and the Intercollegiate Riding Teams.

Global engagement

Dairy and Food Animal Management students are encouraged to study abroad. Students can find more information on the International Academic Programs website and the CALS study abroad advising page.

In addition to study abroad programs, the department offers globally focused courses that look at animal agriculture, sustainable development, improvement in developing countries, and the world role of U.S. animal agriculture, and food production related to human and environmental health, land use, and social justice.

Community engagement and volunteering

Students volunteer at a number of activities directed by Badger Dairy Club, Saddle & Sirloin, Poultry Club, and the Meat Science Club. Students have the unique opportunity to be directly involved in the working behind the scenes before, during, and after the shows and events.

On campus, the Morgridge Center for Public Service provides resources to help students connect with volunteer opportunities based on their interests and goals.

Resources and Scholarshipsexpand_more

The department offers more than 40 scholarships and awards more than $170,000 annually.

Students across the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences receive more than $1.25 million in scholarships annually. Learn more about college scholarships here.

UW-Madison has specialized facilities offering students hands-on dairy science experiences, including:

  • The Dairy Cattle Center is home to more than 80 dairy cows on campus in a tie-stall barn.
  • The Poultry Research Lab is located right on campus, housing chickens and other poultry; offering students part time jobs and involvement with poultry research being conducted by faculty.
  • Bucky’s Varsity Meats is a student driven retail store selling a variety of meats and meat products. Students can find part-time work and experience in a wide range of meat marketing jobs.
  • The Livestock Laboratory houses a variety of livestock being used for classes or research in which students’ opportunities to gain hands-on handling skills for part-time jobs.
  • A network of off-campus Agricultural Research Stations serve as living laboratories for livestock research to enhance research taking place on campus.
  • The Babcock Dairy Plant is a fully operational dairy plant with a retail store selling dairy products. Students can find part-time work and experience in a wide range of dairy processing jobs.

Contact Information

Liv Sandberg, Undergraduate Advisor

jsandberg@wisc.edu
608-263-4303
249 Animal Sciences Bldg
Madison, WI 53706

Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
608-263-3308
www.andysci.wisc.edu

CALS Office of Academic Affairs

academicaffairs@cals.wisc.edu
608-262-3003
116 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706